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2012 Scorecard

2012 Scorecard

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Published by Peggy Satterfield

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Published by: Peggy Satterfield on Oct 29, 2012
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A Portrait o Financial Insecurityand Policies to Rebuild Prosperity in America
Assets & oPPortunity scorecArd:A PortrAit of finAnciAl insecurity AndPolicies to rebuild ProsPerity in AmericA
b J b a ka WPublished JAnuAry 2012
About the scorecArd
 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard
is a comprehensive look at Americans’nancial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperousuture. It assesses the 50 states and the District o Columbia on 101 outcomeand policy measures, which describe how well residents are aring and whatstates can do to help them build and protect assets. These measures are groupedinto ve issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing &Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.
The authors thank CFED sta and consultants – Amy Saltzman, Kristin Lawton,Chris Campbell, LeElaine Comer, Ethan Geiling and Michelle Nguyen – ortheir contributions to the report and also thank Andrea Levere, Kim Pate andIda Rademacher or their invaluable eedback and guidance.The Assets & Opportunity Initiative was made possible through the generoussupport o the Ford Foundation, Northwest Area Foundation, Charles StewartMott Foundation, Levi Strauss Foundation, Administration or Children andFamilies ASSETS Initiative (Department o Health and Human Services,Contract# HHSP23320095636WC), Living Cities, Surdna Foundation, and Y&HSoda Foundation.
risinG Asset PoVerty;diminishinG finAnciAl security
By any measure, poverty in the United States is increasing. In 2010, the countrysaw the poverty rate or individuals rise to 15.1 percent, the highest level innearly two decades. More than 46 million people now live below the ederalpoverty line o $22,350 or a amily o our. However, the ocial poverty ratereleased annually by the Census Bureau highlights just one aspect o householdnances, namely the percentage o people with insucient income to covertheir day-to-day expenses. It does not count the number o amilies who haveinsucient resources – money in the bank or assets such as a home or a car –to meet emergencies or longer-term needs. When these longer-term needs areactored in, substantially more people in the United States today are acing auture o limited hope or long-term nancial security.According to the 2012
 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard
, 27 percent o households– nearly double the percentage that are income poor – are living in “assetpoverty.” These amilies do not have the savings or other assets to cover basicexpenses (equivalent to what could be purchased with a poverty level income)or three months i a layo or other emergency leads to loss o income. Since therelease o the 2009-2010
Assets & Opportunity Scorecard
, the number o asset pooramilies has increased by 21 percent rom about one in ve amilies to one inour amilies. At a time o widening income disparities between the richest andpoorest households, these data paint a stark picture o diminishing nancialsecurity or millions o amilies.For the rst time, the
also includes a measure called “liquid assetpoverty,” which excludes assets such as a home, business or car that can’t easily be converted to cash, and consequently provides a more realistic picture o theresources amilies have to meet emergency needs. According to that measure,43 percent o households nationwide are “liquid asset poor” with little or nosavings to all back on i emergency strikes.
cfed: Assets & oPPortunity scorecArd WhAt is AssetPoVerty?
A household is considered
a p 
i it does not havesufcient net worth (totalassets minus total liabilities)to live at the poverty level orthree months in the absence o income.A household is considered
q a p 
i it doesnot have sufcient liquid assets(e.g., bank accounts and otherfnancial assets) to live at thepoverty level or three monthsin the absence o income.The level o assets needed tolive at the poverty level or threemonths varies by amily size. Forexample, a amily o three wouldneed at least $4,632.The concept o asset povertyis important in that it measuresnot only income but alsovulnerability to fnancial shocks.I one’s income was suddenlycut o, due to unemployment,a medical emergency or evendivorce, would they have enougho a personal saety net to makeends meet?
of Nevadahouseholds areasset poorStates with the Worst Povertyof Alabamahouseholds areliquid asset poor
AssetpovertyHousehold* income povertyAssetpoverty forhouseholdsof color
* Households, rather than individuals as in the ofcial income poverty rate, are theunit of analysis for all
income and asset poverty data.
Liquid assetpovertyLiquid assetpoverty forhouseholdsof color
Income and Asset Poverty in America
of Mississippihouseholds areincome poor

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